If you have hydrangeas, I have decorating tips for you. Here are some simple DIY projects and tips and display ideas on how to decorate with hydrangeas.
I also put together some different ways on how to decorate with hydrangea through the seasons, including a fall garland and dried hydrangea wreath.
I’m still not sure when I first fell in love with hydrangeas.
Maybe it’s when I discovered they bloom all summer.
Maybe it’s when I realized each individual flower is a work of art.
Maybe it’s when I figured out how to dry them and how to plant them and how to make them bloom just a little bit more.
I think it was my dad.
When I was little and my father would walk me down the flower-lined streets on Cape Cod and point them out with a magical whisper. He’d describe them in hushed tones and tell me about the tiny petals and how they bloomed and the ways the flowers could change colors and that long after the color faded…
…the beauty of the hydrangea remained.
We’ve planted them ever since our first house. We’ve planted them in the rocky non-acidic soils of Texas and the lush, rush dirt of western Kentucky. And this year? We are planting them again in the house that my father loved.
Here are my thoughts on all DIY’s and tips and display ideas for this beautiful flower and how to decorate with hydrangeas.
How to cut hydrangeas to decorate
I wanted to go all Julie Andrews and start at the beginning. All hydrangea decorating starts with the cutting.
- I always cut the hydrangeas first thing in the morning when it’s cooler (especially in Texas) so the flower doesn’t take it too badly.
- I typically cut my hydrangea stems about 8 inches long (I can always trim them later) with leaves on them.
- Hydrangea leaves come in groupings of two and you want to cut the flowers where two of the stems meet so the flower can keep flowering.
- Start by cutting the stem at an angle. This will help the flower absorb more water and stay fresh longer.
- Next, remove any leaves that will be below the water line. Otherwise, they’ll start to rot and contaminate the water.
- Finally, cut the stem to the desired length. If you’re not sure how long to make it, err on the side of caution – it’s always easier to trim off a bit more later if necessary.
- I try to choose the flowers that look like they are finished blooming to help out my hydrangea bush a little.
When to cut hydrangea plants for arrangements
See these flowers?
This is what the plant looks like when it’s just getting started. The leaves are smaller. The plants are smaller.
I know it is so tempting to cut them now. Don’t. You will be so much happier if you wait a little. This might sound a little random, but I talk to my plants like I talk to my rooms. I always feel like the plant gets a little discouraged if you take it’s flowers too early.
I try and clip my hydrangea plants after the flowers are bigger and the stem is so heavy that the flower is falling over.
Then the plant doesn’t look discouraged.
It looks relieved.
The best time to cut hydrangeas for arrangements is early in the morning before the flowers have had a chance to open. This will help them stay fresh longer. If you can’t get to them in the morning, cut them in the evening and place them in a cool, dark place until you’re ready to use them.
Hydrangeas can be used in a variety of ways for home decor, such as centerpieces and mantel decor. The best time to cut them for arrangements is early morning before the flowers have had a chance to open.
If you can’t cut the hydrangea plants in the morning, cut them in the evening and place them in a cool, dark place until you are ready to decorate with them.
How to make your cut hydrangeas last longer
Have you ever brought home a beautiful bouquet of hydrangeas, only to have them wilt and die a few days later? If so, you’re not alone. Hydrangeas are notoriously finicky flowers, but there are a few simple tips that can help them stay fresh for longer.
- I put them in cool water as soon as I cut them.
- I cut the stems at an angle. This allows them to soak up as much water as possible.
- Adding a tiny bit of sugar to the water helps keep them fresh longer.
- Every couple of days, I retrim the stems and change the water.
- Remove any leaves that would fall below the water line, as these can rot and contaminate the rest of the bouquet.
- Use a clean vase and fresh water, and be sure to replace the water every few days. With a little care, your hydrangeas will stay fresh and beautiful for days or even weeks.
Simple display ideas to decorate with fresh hydrangeas
If you’re looking for a simple way to add a touch of elegance to your home, look no further than the hydrangea. These beautiful flowers are perfect for decorating any room, and they’re surprisingly easy to care for. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- One of the simplest ways to display hydrangeas is in a vase on your coffee table or kitchen counter. Just cut the stems at an angle and add some water. For a more dramatic effect, try grouping several vases together with different colors of hydrangeas.
- Another great option is to float the flowers in a bowl of water. This looks especially beautiful in a clear glass bowl, but any type of bowl will work. You can even get creative and add some stones or other decorations to the bowl before adding the hydrangeas.
- If you want to take things up a notch, you can create a stunning centerpiece by arranging hydrangeas in a tall vase. Add some greenery or other accents as desired, and enjoy your beautiful creation!
My best tip?
Just let the hydrangeas do the talking. In other words, hydrangeas are so pretty that you don’t have to do much to decorate with them. They do all the work with their flowers and their blooming and their brilliant colors.
All you have to do is trim them at the right time and find a pretty vase or container.
Here are some examples:
Display in a tall glass bottle
Here’s an easy way to decorate with hydrangeas.
First, find a tall glass bottle that will allow your hydrangea to stand upright. Next, fill the bottle with water, making sure to leave enough room for the stems. Finally, arrange the hydrangea in the bottle, using the leaves and branches to create an interesting and visually appealing display.
With this simple approach, you can transform your hydrangea into a work of art.
Display in a basket
This is one of my favorite things to do when I’m about to dry hydrangeas to decorate with for the fall.
I cut 10-12 hydrangeas with 8 to 10″ stems and remove all the leaves.
Then I fill a big glass vase with water and place the stems of the hydrangea into the vase and then place the vase in the basket.
When the leaves start to change color slightly, I remove the water and let the hydrangeas dry in place.
It’s kind of the lazy way of drying hydrangeas. Some of the flowers might get a little smashed, but if you are drying tons of hydrangeas for wreaths or garlands or arrangements? This is an easy method that doesn’t require a lot of work.
how to decorate with hydrangeas and milk glass
This is one of my favorite ways to add a little color to a spring mantel.
It’s one of the easiest, too.
I line up five milk glass containers in different sizes and different heights. Then I trim my hydrangeas with small stems (between 4 to 5 inches) and keep the leaves on a few of them.
I just add water.
I stagger the leaved hydrangeas with the non-leaved hydrangeas to add a little green to the display.
Decorate a table with hydrangeas and pears
This is an arrangement I created for fall with the last hydrangeas of the season in late August. They inspired me with their bits of brown leaves and fading petals. I took small pumpkins (or you could use vases) and filled them with water and hydrangeas.
Then I cut magnolia leaves (which are an entirely different flower decorating topic) and layered them into the dining table centerpiece with pears.
It was such a fresh way to welcome in September.
Simple display ideas to decorate with dried hydrangeas
Dried hydrangeas make for beautiful and understated home decor. Here are a few simple ideas for how to incorporate them into your space:
- For a pop of color, arrange a few stems in a vase or jar.
- Create a pretty centerpiece for your dining table by arranging dried hydrangeas, and other dried flowers in a wide, shallow bowl.
- Make a dramatic statement by hanging a large arrangement of dried hydrangeas from the ceiling.
- Add interest to a bookshelf or mantle by displaying dried hydrangeas in unique containers, like old teapots or Mason jars.
And the best part about hydrangeas?
They are the gift that keeps on giving.
After spring and summer are over and they are finished blooming, you can dry them and decorate with them for fall.
Make a dried hydrangea wreath
Why not add a few fresh hydrangeas to your store-bought wreath? It’s easy to do, and it’ll make your wreath look like it came straight from the florist. Simply remove the artificial flowers from the wreath, and then add a few stems of hydrangeas in their place.
Here’s the step-by-step on how I made this wreath.
- You’ll need grapevine wreath, florist wire and dried hydrangea.
- Trim the leaves and keep the stems about 5″ long.
- Wrap floral wire around the hydrangea and insert into the grapevine wreath.
- Continue wrapping the wire and adding hydrangea around the wreath.
- You can also use a glue gun to secure the stems in place.
- You may need to trim some of the hydrangeas so they look even. See the overly-exuberant friend at the top. He needed a hair cut.
- Then add a bow and hang the wreath on the door.
Add dried hydrangeas to garlands
Dried hydrangeas make beautiful and long-lasting additions to garlands. To add dried hydrangeas to a garland, start by cutting the stems of the flowers to approximately six inches in length. Next, thread the stem through the garland, leaving a bit of extra stem on each end. Once all of the flowers have been added, gently fluff them out to create a full and natural look. Finally, use wire or floral tape to secure the stems in place. With a little bit of care, your dried hydrangea garland will stay beautiful for many seasons to come.
Here’s how I made this garland:
- This is a simple dollar store garland that I bought.
- Trim the leaves and keep the stems about 5″ long.
- Wrap floral wire around the hydrangea and wrap them around the grapevine garland.
- I added six to eight hydrangeas on each side of the door.
Add as accents on a pre-made wreath
- This is a pre-purchased wrath that I bought at the store. It came with existing greenery.
- I added a few dried hydrangea and other flowers to add a little texture to the wreath.
- I trimmed all the leaves off of the hydrangeas and keep the stems about 5″ long.
- Wrap floral wire around the hydrangea and insert it into the pre-made wreath.
- Make sure to vary the sizes of the hydrangeas when adding them to the wreath.
The hydrangeas are ready for another year.
We’re getting the rocky dry soil ready and preparing the beds and making a home for them and planting our new hydrangea bushes tucked away in the corner in a shady corner of the house that gets dappled sunlight through the trees.
Another hydrangea chapter.
And when I look at that those flowers planted in front of the home and the flower beds that my father loved? I know he’s smiling right now…
…because I can hear his whispers in my ear.
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